In a chat to local reporters at the Miami Open, the Tournament Director James Blake commented on Rafael Nadal's withdrawal. The Spaniard will miss the second calendar Masters 1000 tournament of the season for the second year in a row, once again due to an injury.
Nadal reached five finals in Miami, losing them all including the most recent in 2017 against Roger Federer. "Rafa’s absolutely one of the greatest ambassadors in sports in general, so you always want to see him play and see him healthy", said Blake.
"When he calls a trainer, you know it’s for a reason. He’s a guy through competes through anything. His body has taken such a toll with the way he plays and how much tennis he plays. It’s too bad. I wish him all the best.
We’ll miss him here but we’re in a golden era of tennis, so we’re lucky to have one of the other greatest of all time, if not the greatest, in Roger Federer, and then Novak, who’s making his bid. And, in my mind, greatest of all time on the women’s side Serena (Williams).
So, we’re going to miss Rafa, but the show must go on and we’ve still got unbelievable talent out there for fans to watch." Asked if playing two Grand Slams out of four on hard is bad for him, Nadal replied: "I am a tennis player, and to be a tennis player, I have to play on all the surfaces.
My goal is to play on all the surfaces. Another thing is adjust my calendar to the way that I need. But that not means that I'm not gonna play in the hard courts."